4 large eggs, lightly beaten in a 2-cup measure
1¼ cups sugar
140–145 g (about 1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus 2 Tbs. for molds
140–145 g (about 1 cup) cake flour
10 oz. (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 peices
A pinch of salt
The zest of one lemon
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
A few drops of pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
Measure ½ cup of the eggs into a bowl, then beat the sugar and the two cups flour until thoroughly blended. Rest ten minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 1½-quart thick-bottomed saucepan, bring to a boil, and brown lightly. Place the 2 Tbs. flour in a bowl and blend in 3 Tbs. of the butter, then set aside. Stir the remaining butter over an ice-water bath until cool but still liquid, then blend it and the remaining eggs into the batter along with the salt, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla. Preheat oven to 375°F, with racks in the upper and lower middle levels.
Using a pastry brush, paint the madeleine molds with the reserved butter-flour mixture. Divide into 36 lumps of a generous tablespoon each, and drop into madeleine cups. A little extra batter may remain. Eat it. Bake about 15 minutes until the cakes are lightly browned around the edges, humped in the middle, and pull away from the sides of the molds slightly. Unmold immediately onto a rack.
When cool, turn shell side up and dust with confectioners’ sugar. They will keep, refrigerated, for a day or two in an airtight container, or longer in the freezer.
Makes 36 cakes.
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